Facebook has been proven to be a practical and cost-efficient channel for reaching potential clients. As early as May 2007, the social media giant has been effectively bridging the gap between brands, both established and up-and-coming, to their target audience.
Fast forward to 2018, after undergoing numerous updates to cater to the ever-changing needs of brands and users, Facebook Ads remains the king.
What Is Facebook Lookalike Audience, Really?
Facebook Lookalike Audience is one of Facebook’s solutions to adequately introduce brands to people who are similar to their existing customers.
Businesses that have been using Facebook Ads for the last couple of years know how effective Lookalike Audience’s can be. However, even the most experienced marketers could have a hard time unlocking the full potentials of the ads tool.
If you don’t have any experience in using Facebook Lookalike Audiences, let’s have a quick and short introduction about it first.
Basically, Facebook Ads’ algorithm allows brands to target users who share the same behaviour with their existing customers. For example, an existing customer likes cooking, then people who are interested in cooking too will be the main priority of Lookalike Audiences.
If not monitored properly and automated carelessly, Facebook Lookalike Audiences can work against businesses. Since this ads feature target users who behave similar to the users in the brand’s list, the Lookalike Audience may end up prioritising people who less likely to convert.
So how would advertisers avoid such problem? We compiled some of the best practices for Facebook Lookalike Audiences; here are some ways to effectively use this feature:
Make sure you upload a new list of customers regularly
Because of the wealth of data Facebook has, it is not hard to imagine that the algorithm is fool-proof. However, there could be a problem if you don’t keep up with the changes.
Facebook Lookalike Audiences allow brands to upload a list of their customers and generate a lookalike using that list. While straightforward and convenient, depending on your original list can be problematic. Facebook always targets the lowest hanging fruit, and because of this, your audience conversion could be affected in the long run.
To avoid such situation, it is important for brands to regularly upload a new list of customers. Our team of social media experts suggests that you upload a new list every month or once a quarter to generate new lookalike audiences.
Divide the customer list
An old and tested marketing secret remains relevant today is—divide and conquer. Don’t depend on a single customer list.
How? First, determine whether there’s a natural segmentation you can draw within your customer base. One good way to divide your customer base is to draw a line between high-paying and average-paying customers.
You can create a list of customers who purchased high-priced products from your brand, and another list for those who shopped average-priced items.
While this segmentation is simple, it could effectively work on your end. Facebook will look for Lookalike Audiences for your high-paying customer list, and average-paying customers, covering both segments.
However, before you create segmentations from your root list, take into consideration what Facebook reps say. According to them, the sweet spot for root audience size is somewhere between 10,000 and 50,000 users. You don’t have that large root list yet? Don’t worry; you can start anywhere 1,000 to 5,000 range.
Take advantage of automatic customer relationship management (CRM) uploads
Whether you use MailChimp, Marketo or any other CRM platform, you would want to explore its automatic integration into the Facebook API. This will save you time in creating a manual list, exporting, formatting, and uploading into Facebook.
So far, MailChimp and Marketo are known to have automatic direct integration features. If you are not using any of those CRM platforms, you can check with your provider if integration to Facebook is possible.
Capitalise on dynamic audiences for Lookalike modelling
As we mentioned in the first tip, regularly updating your customer list is extremely important. Instead of depending on your original list, you would want to create a new list every now and then.
One way to ensure that your list is up-to-date is to base it on dynamic lists instead of just manually uploading customer file. This is when using Facebook pixel would come in handy.
A list composed of dynamic audiences gives you wider reach because these customers constantly change their behaviour. Put simply, when you have a dynamic list, you can attract users of different interests, hobbies, social statuses, and lifestyles.
Modify your pixel to reach more users
Did you know that you can customise the Facebook pixel set-up to determine which user categories you should be prioritising? Well, now you know.
While Facebook gives various standard events (e.g. AddToCart, AddPaymentInfo, CompleteRegistration, Lead, Pageview, Purchase) that you can use to get all your work done, there are times where it is better customise them.
You can take advantage of each of these actions to build a custom audience that Lookalike Audience can use to create a list.
Moreover, Facebook now boasts improved Lookalike Audience creation process like so:
Using this new process will not require you to build a new audience list but it will help you generate a Lookalike Audience based on the users who have activated the pixel. This method is still new and marketers are still decoding how to use it in the best way possible. Nevertheless, keep tabs on this new process.
The One Thing To Keep In Mind
If there’s one thing you should remember about the tips provided, that is to ensure that you don’t treat the Lookalike Audience as a one-and-done thing. You must be in constant control of things to ensure that you are reaching the best audience possible.
Taking advantage of Facebook Lookalike Audiences isn’t an easy process—it requires experience, patience, and skills. If you are not confident with how you are using all the Facebook Ads functionalities, don’t hesitate to ask us for help.